Kobe Bryant’s immediate future with the Los Angeles Lakers remains uncertain. Next season is shaping up to be the last for the five-time NBA champion as he struggles to battle through this season with seemingly endless aches and pains.
Many believe that if the Lakers are able to pull off a few major moves to improve the roster with top tier talent that Kobe might consider sticking around a little longer. If he’s able to stay healthy, that might end up being the case, but all signs appear to point to Bryant retiring after next season or possibly this summer.
Bryant recently talked about his thoughts on early retirement with Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. Kobe admitted early retirement has crossed his mind and that the money he’s set to earn isn’t a factor in his decision:
“I don’t care about the money,” he says. “If I don’t feel like doing it, I won’t do it.”
At this point in his career, Kobe has earned enough money to last lifetimes. Long-term financial security is not a concern for the 36-year-old even with the lavish lifestyle he’s living in Newport Beach.
Bryant admitting that the money isn’t a concern might rub a few Lakers fans the wrong way. Many believe the lucrative extension hurt the team’s chances of bringing in the talent needed to right the ship.
Even if Bryant had taken considerable less money, there’s no guarantee the team would’ve been able to improve the roster via free agency.[divide]
Lakers Kobe Bryant Discusses Future Possibility Of Being Shutdown